You may think of him as the man behind Mission Impossible, Jack Reacher or Jerry Maguire, but even as an A-list actor, Tom Cruise had to start somewhere in Hollywood.
As a fresh-faced 19-year-old boy, he first appeared on screen with a high pitch squeaky voice that you wouldn’t expect from the refined actor.
Anyone who grew up watching 80’s movies will appreciate the familiar roles of Tom Cruise, but can you recall all 7 of his films before he became a household name?
Let’s relive the 80’s with these flicks.
Endless Love– 1981
Tom Cruise has his first scene on the silver screen and it was exactly what you’d expect from the 80’s. Wearing nothing more than short jean shorts, Tom Cruise talks in a voice you’d never recognize him for today. Complete with a goofy high-pitched giggle, you can’t imagine him delivering this kind of performance today. Well, I guess they all had to start somewhere.
In the same year as his Endless Love cameo, Cruise landed a much more substantial role in Taps. In his first appearance of many in uniform, he plays a young man being taught militaristic ideals. Cruise’s character is a hothead, but he is able to deliver an interesting portrayal of the one-dimensional character. This was our first real look into the future that Cruise would have in film.
Alongside a stunning cast for the 80’s Cruise finds himself in an epic story about a gang of underprivileged kids who are in a rivalry with another gang which spirals out of control. While Cruise takes a less central role in this movie, we can start to see the star power the actor holds and his ability to become a heartthrob of the decade.
Losin’ It– 1983
Often overlooked, Losin’ It is a teen comedy about a bunch of high school kids heading to Tijuana for an night of debauchery hoping to lose their virginity. This movie is notable because it was the first time that Cruise was ever in a leading role accompany a group of two other friends for a wild ride.
This movie is chock-full of 80’s goodness.
The familiar breakout dance is coming, so you will want to be ready for the next role!
Risky Business– 1983
Arguably his breakout role before Top Gun shot him into superstardom, Risky Business is the third of four movies Cruise took on in 1983.
The story follows a privileged Princeton-bound teen who gets in trouble while his parents are away. Cruise really jumps into the role as he slides into the living room wearing sport socks and a button down pink shirt, using a candle holder as a mic. Cruise delivers a confident performance and helps lead into some of his amazing work including 1986’s Top Gun.
All The Right Moves– 1983
Rounding out 1983, Cruise finished out the year with high school sports movie. With dreams bigger than the small town he grew up in, he had a future to go to college and move away. Playing the leading role, the plot centers around horrible misunderstandings and mistakes that we all faced in high school.
It was clear that after 1983, Tom Cruise was going to be a name not quickly forgotten.
After a busy year in 1983, Cruise didn’t appear in any films in 1984, but came out with Legend in 1985. This classic Ridley Scott film is a dark fairy tale that takes you on an adventure through fables and traditions of ancient times. The talented young actor was able to show he can perform in a role that wasn’t a teenage drama and it really opened up his acting possibilities in the years to come.
Top Gun– 1986
We finish off our list with the movie that we all remember. By the time Top Gun Tom Cruise had become a household name. Playing Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, Cruise launches us into a story that has us flying high throughout the entire film.
We couldn’t complete a list about Tom Cruise without mentioning this amazing movie, because, let’s be honest, even over 30 years later, this movie still holds up- with a soundtrack we can’t get sick of.